RMT warns of £6 billion funding gap for transport in London as new report points to £1.7 billion shortfall from recession

TRANSPORT UNION RMT warned today that services in London are staring down the barrel of a £6 billion funding gap which threatens to wreck modernisation schedules and plans for the 2012 Olympics while leaving thousands of jobs under threat.

The warning comes on the day that a new London Assembly report points to a £1.7 billion transport income gap as a result of the recession which it predicts will open up between now and 2018.

This latest funding bombshell comes on top of TfL’s existing £2.5 billion savings programme and is in addition to a £2 billion finance row between TfL and the Tube Lines consortium. With the costs to the taxpayer from the failure of the Metronet privatisation added in the total cash gap racks up to over £6 billion.

Bob Crow, RMT general secretary, said today:

“This £1.7 billion cuts bombshell takes the total black hole facing transport in London to over £6 billion. In the run up to the Olympics, it puts the entire future of services across the capital on the line.

“RMT have warned repeatedly that the threat to jobs is part of a wider package of savage cuts to the transport budget in London which can all be traced back to the failure of privatisation. These figures prove that point conclusively. The modernisation of the tube is under serious threat and the ability to deliver in time for 2012 is left in serious doubt.

“The solution is simple. Bring Tube Lines back under public control and draw a line under the privatisation disaster and then demand government investment to protect London’s transport services. If the government can find billions to bail out the banks then they can find the cash needed for world-class transport services. The alternative is real cuts in jobs and services and transport chaos.”

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